Harris County Clerk Shares Data Pertaining to Marriage Licenses
The month of February is considered the month of love, but as Valentine’s Day approaches, many are asking “Has COVID hurt Cupid?
The Harris County Clerk’s Office (HCCO) has gone through its files and has some interesting data to share. HCCO data shows that between 2019 and 2020, there was a 110 percent decrease in the number of marriage licenses issued. Only 15,149 marriage licenses were processed in 2020 compared to the 31,850 issued in 2019.
“According to our records, more marriage license applications are processed in the months of February and March, suggesting that couples are most likely getting engaged during the winter and on Valentine’s Day,” said Harris County Clerk Teneshia Hudspeth. “Unfortunately, the pandemic has impacted our lives in so many ways, forcing many people to put their plans, including marriage, on hold.”
The chart provides totals dating back to 2015, the year of the landmark civil rights case in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples. To provide a uniform assessment of how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the number of marriage license applications, the covered period ends in 2020. (To view the complete report on marriage license applications click here.)
Since the first County Judge lockdown last March, HCCO has been working arduously to restore services while stringently practicing COVID-19 safety guidelines. Social distancing and Plexiglass partitions are measures in place when dealing with the public. More importantly, to avoid the gathering of crowds, transactions that must take place in person, like applications for marriage licenses are carried out by appointment only.
“Despite challenging circumstances, we are doing everything possible to safely serve our residents and ensure that love in the time of COVID is possible,” added Hudspeth. “I am optimistic that sometime this year we will return to normal operations. For now, the health and well-being of the public is paramount.”
Residents can schedule an in-person appointment by visiting http://cclerk.hctx.net/Applications/AppointmentBooking or calling 713-274-8686.